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The Saxophone$
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Stephen Cottrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100419

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100419.001.0001

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The classical saxophone

The classical saxophone

(p.228) Chapter 6 The classical saxophone
The Saxophone

Stephen Cottrell

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the role that the saxophone played in classical music. First, it looks at how it fared within the symphony hall and the opera house. The symphony orchestra had and continues to have an ambivalent relationship with the saxophone despite Sax's expectation that it would find for itself a niche within the orchestral context—a vision that has not yet been permanently realized. Duke Ellington, for example, noted the clash between the saxophone timbre and the orchestral sound world during his work with Maurice Peress in the orchestrating of his suite Black, Brown and Beige in 1970. Percy Grainger saw the role of the saxophone in orchestra the other way. For him, the saxophone was the most expressive of all wind instruments, and provided a humanized, vocal nature that brought composers a different orchestral opportunity, one that was distinctive and idiosyncratic.

Keywords:   classical saxophone, symphony orchestra, Duke Ellington, saxophone timbre, orchestral sound, Maurice Peress, Percy Grainger, saxophone in orchestra

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